Facebook Lite, a lighter and data friendly version of the Facebook app for smartphones, has now clocked 200 million users per month. The app was launched in 2015 for users in developing countries like India where internet speed has been predominantly erratic.
The native Facebook app, which enjoys a larger user base of 1.18 billion daily active users, not only saps more mobile data but drains a phone’s battery faster.
In the last two years, broadband speeds in India have improved considerably but the internet connection in areas with high tele-density still remains patchy.
The difference between the two social networking apps was quite stark initially but with the addition of new features to Facebook Lite over time has made it likable in many ways.
Video streaming made easy
To keep the things simple, Facebook had left out the video streaming option in the earlier version of Lite. The feature was recently added and it allows users to play any video shared by their friends just as they do in the native app. Unlike the native app, the Lite app shows the amount of data users is going to expend on streaming a video at the beginning itself.
Built in chat
The option to chat with friends on Facebook Lite is allowed within the app. Unlike, the native app where use are required to download a separate resource intensive app called the Facebook Messenger which takes up another 150 MB of storage.
The chat page in Facebook Lite is highlighted at the top of the main page.
While you miss out on cool features such as find Nearby friends in Facebook Lite, you will have access to relevant features such as group chats and green sticker to identify active friends.
Less stress on phone’s resources
Facebook Lite is not just a data friendly app but takes up very little of the phone’s real estate. Before installation its file size is merely 1.01 MB and after installation it takes up 7.82MB of space. As you use it, the app will take up about 2 to 3MB on additional data. In comparison, the native Facebook app’s size is 71.8MB before installation and 195MB after installation. The other advantage of the Lite app is that it doesn’t drain the phone’s battery by running multiple processes in the background as the native app and the messenger apps tend to do.
Tinker with image resolution
In order to open your images faster Facebook Lite has an option in the app’s settings which allows users to choose the image quality for the photos in their timeline. User can save up data and the images will load faster if you go with the low quality or medium quality option. To access it tap on the menu icon at the top right hand side of the page, go to settings-> Image Quality->High/Medium/Low.